Get active

As well as maintaining a healthy diet getting enough exercise is just as important to keep healthy.

How much physical activity you should do depends on where you’re starting from; and your age, general health and current activity levels will all determine how far you should push yourself.

Getting active doesn’t have to mean sweating it out in the gym or running yourself ragged on the treadmill. Physical activity is very broadly defined. On a basic level, it’s any movement that makes you feel warm and slightly out of breath.

Someone unfit or overweight may only have to walk up a slope to experience this feeling, whereas an athlete may be able to run quite fast before the feeling becomes noticeable.

Physical activity includes the full range of human movement, from competitive sport and exercise to active hobbies, walking, dancing or activities of daily living, such as housework and DIY.

Adults are reccommended to do a minimum of 30 minutes moderate-intensity physical activity, at least five days a week. But you don’t have to do the whole 30 minutes in one go. Your half-hour could be made up of three 10-minute bursts of activity spread out through the day.

This can include a lifestyle activity (e.g. walking to the shops or taking the dog out), a structured exercise or sport, or a combination of these.

Writing your 30 minutes of activity into a diary could help you stay focused and motivate you throughout the week. It may also help you get into the habit of doing some sort of physical activity everyday and keeping fit will become part of your routine.

Here are some ideas on how you could build exercise into your lifestyle:

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Page last updated on March 18th, 2013